All is now in place for West Genesee’s basketball teams to make their important pushes down the regular-season homestretch and build up some momentum for the Section III Class AA playoffs.
For the girls Wildcats, who are 13-1, all attention is focused on Tuesday night’s game at five-time defending champion Cicero-North Syracuse, an opponent WG is convinced it can finally take down.
In the last tune-up for the Northstars, WG went to Auburn, and instead of looking ahead, the Wildcats turned to the tandem of Marissa Hudgins and Grace Osterdale to deliver a 64-56 victory over the Maroons.
Throughout a strong first half, WG’s offense flourished, getting any shot it wanted against Auburn and mostly converting them as it streaked out to a 42-20 lead.
To its credit, the Maroons would make a fourth-quarter charge, led by 1,000-point scorer, Annie Gianone, who managed 23 points, nine assists and six steals, but it proved too late.
With all of Auburn’s defensive attention on Melissa Fumano, Hudgins had her best all-around performance of the season, scoring 21 points, but also notching 11 rebounds, three blocks and six steals. Osterdale flourished, too, pouring in 17 points to more than make up for Fumano’s struggles as she only managed seven points.
As for the West Genesee boys team, who faced its own big test when it hosted C-NS on Tuesday, the key, in Friday’s game against Auburn, was to have the same fine all-around effort that it showed when dismissing Liverpool 62-39 a week earlier.
But the week away from the court stole some momentum away from the Wildcats – and then a tremendous performance by the Maroons’ Trent Ward took the rest of it, leading WG to an unexpected 80-71 defeat.
Despite its 2-11 record, Auburn was red-hot at the start, roaring out to a 29-19 lead through one period, and the rest of the game was spent by the Wildcats in a chase that would not succeed.